Vertical Search - challenges and opportunities


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Presentation by Graeme McCrakken CEO of Reed Business Search at the AOP Vertical Search event on Jan 21st 2008

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Vertical Search - challenges and opportunities

  1. 1. Graeme McCracken Chief Operating Officer, RB Search [email_address] Vertical Search: Challenges & Opportunities
  2. 2. Search: A growing market! <ul><li>Forrester predicted $34b by 2010, we believe it will be closer to double this with at least $11b in B2B </li></ul><ul><li>59% of dollars migrating from other media budgets (print, web display ads, shopping directories, email, direct marketing, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>35% of user sessions initiated by a query, making site search the most used application on a typical web site </li></ul><ul><li>B2B site search success rate is only 58% </li></ul><ul><li>30% of visitors abandon a site with each failed query </li></ul><ul><li>Industry/Vertical search typically yields a 30 – 60% increase in page views per year – 50% from new customers </li></ul>“ What was the result of your online research?” Google most used in B2B markets
  3. 3. The Fried Egg Model Addressed Market “ Bonus” audience
  4. 4. It may feel safe….but for how long?
  5. 5. Frogs are SO! hot
  6. 6. Understand your market, content & search Researcher Domain queries Focused vocabulary Initial broad queries Refinement Queries in related domains <ul><li>User Profiles: </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Buyers </li></ul><ul><li>Browsers </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers and buyers behave similarly, as they are both goal-oriented. The system need to be designed with their needs in mind </li></ul><ul><li>Browsers are ancillary and will benefit by proxy </li></ul>Browser Broad queries Generalize vocabulary Longer sessions Buyer Goal seeker Domain queries Focused vocabulary Specific queries Refinement Click-thrus Search Platform <ul><li>Typical Searches: </li></ul><ul><li>Goal-oriented, precise </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-term with no conjunctives </li></ul><ul><li>Most likely to include category or solution domain terms </li></ul><ul><li>Refinement, sorting and filtering will be important aspects of the results UI </li></ul><ul><li>Users will rely heavily on system to “return the right thing” or to help them “find the right thing” </li></ul>
  7. 7. The problem with search today <ul><li>Precision </li></ul><ul><li>Mention vs. About </li></ul><ul><li>Noise & Spam </li></ul><ul><li>Recall </li></ul><ul><li>Breadth vs. Depth </li></ul><ul><li>Context & Semantics </li></ul><ul><li>Refinement </li></ul><ul><li>Navigation </li></ul><ul><li>Mindset & Intention </li></ul><ul><li>Impact </li></ul><ul><li>Searcher Frustration </li></ul><ul><li>Advertiser ROI </li></ul>
  8. 8. The other problem with search – an inverse model The more relevant/targeted the advert….the less you pay
  9. 9. RB Search <ul><li>Technology Platform </li></ul><ul><li>Improve results and implement testing methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Develop UI and Usability competence </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to develop product </li></ul>Zibb on Demand 2. Build best in breed Vertical Search & Widgets for all RB websites & 1. Build best in breed B2B Search Engine
  10. 10. What does search do for us? Millions of B2B Spec Sheets, Catalogs, Press Releases, White Papers Topic Taxonomy Content Indexing Product & Service Ontology Geographic Taxonomy Individual/ Position Over 2 billion B2B Web Pages, News & Blogs 3 million companies 220k Products/ Services Millions of Attendees & Exhibitors <ul><li>Taxonomy links all B2B content together </li></ul><ul><li>Crawl – RB proprietary plus B2B web content </li></ul><ul><li>Aggregate Content – a holistic design principle </li></ul><ul><li>User Interface/Branding Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Not one site, but a multitude & powers all 900 websites and more </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits: Answering B2B queries; Web /Blog plus site search; Adsense for Search; Traffic Cascade to RB sites/CPM & CPC Revenue </li></ul>B2B Web The Search Engine Company Taxonomy +5 million News Articles Multiple Repositories
  11. 11. What is the Value to the Consumer? From… ...To Content Source All the Web/Site Specific Industry Specific Search Failure Rate > 50% < 5% Relevance Broad and Arbitrary Contextual & Explainable Interaction Pull Push & Pull Perception No Alternative Useful Disambiguation None Navigation Productivity Gather Links Analyze Information
  12. 12. What is the Benefit to the Business? From… ...To Search Traffic (% of Total) 1% More than 10% Overall Traffic Impact Limited Source of Differentiation Revenue per Search $? $0.05 Standards None Scale & Advantage Search Roadmap Not a Priority Competitive Advantage Other Monetization NA Incremental Maintenance & Support Site Specific Centralized & Dedicated Sources: Outsell; Forrester
  13. 13. Zibb – branded vertical search
  14. 14. ZIbb – Better Answers by Market
  15. 15. Zibb On Demand – Beyond Search ! Video & Part Search <ul><li>112 ive ZoD’s </li></ul><ul><li>+70 live with News Feeds, Related Items, Infusion </li></ul><ul><li>on sites that generate +50 million page impressions per month </li></ul><ul><li>driving 54% YOY increase in page impressions </li></ul><ul><li>Driven by 15 million ZoD/widget, 130 million queries and more than 2 million direct searches per month </li></ul><ul><li>Growing at +30% per month </li></ul>
  16. 16. Domain Expertise – better answers <ul><li>Content Type – the web is a medium, not a type of content! </li></ul><ul><li>Disambiguation – did you want news/product/blog/catalog, etc? </li></ul><ul><li>Market – you are special, so is the content within our index </li></ul><ul><li>Market specific, quality content – own your own index! </li></ul><ul><li>Taxonomy, Ontology, Folksonomy – describe your market </li></ul><ul><li>Answers, not questions – lotus car or lotus position </li></ul><ul><li>Aboutness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Everything you ever wanted to know ‘about’ …… but were afraid to ask! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A specific zone for all our specialised users </li></ul></ul><ul><li>RB Search classifies all our content by multiple taxonomies by Topic, Product, Company, Geography, Individual/Job Position </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0?……………. no more like Web 3.0 (the Semantic Version) </li></ul><ul><li>………………………………………………………… ..In short it is about Answers, not Questions! </li></ul>
  17. 17. You may think I am decoupled…and you would be right! XML XML XML
  18. 18. Raising the Sea Level – Reverse Thinking Yeserday Today 950 websites EDN Flight Variety Powder Bulk Solids ECN
  19. 19. Not a silver bullet – you only get one of those!
  20. 20. Then you get carried away
  21. 21. Key takeaways <ul><li>Search fundamentally changes the game – both for internal and external content – Google proves this </li></ul><ul><li>You can exploit this to do internal and external developments faster, cheaper and better </li></ul><ul><li>Always choose the best product for that specific purpose, do not make do! Even second best costs you money and more importantly time </li></ul><ul><li>It is not cheap…..but as an infrastructure and game changer it is very reasonable </li></ul><ul><li>Business models are challenging and you need to be nimble in order to exploit opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Apply standards/taxonomies globally, do not try to standardise systems globally - its quicker, better and simpler </li></ul><ul><li>Decouple, decouple, decouple….keeps it simple to manage, fast to integrate and incredibly flexible </li></ul><ul><li>It can power far more than you would ever believe possible - it breaks the RDBMS rules and can make you agile </li></ul><ul><li>It’s about speed and aggression – that is what drives innovation </li></ul><ul><li>…… is also a little frightening, as it breaks rules, challenges business and IT and liberates you </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Questions </li></ul>